Vocabulary: Torpedo

(Vocabulary postings are words or phrases I recently came across in reading, did not fully understand, looked up, and discovered something new.)

We are all familiar with this weapon of naval warfare, but I heard the word used in a context I did not understand. To torpedo an idea is to sink it.  Another meaning is to press ahead regardless of possible consequences.

The idiom (and it is a good example of an idiom) comes from a quote of Admiral Farragut during the Civil War, “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!”

The context I heard was a description of a film noir actor and his “torpedo personality.”

(This is the type of idiom I love—taking a familiar word and twisting it into a new context.)



About Roger Walck

My reasons for writing this blog are spelled out in the posting of 10/1/2012, Montaigne's Essays. They are probably not what you think.
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